Zika virus (ZIKV) is emerging as a significant pathogen worldwide and may cause severe neurological disorders such as fetal microcephaly and Guillain-Barre syndrome. No drug or listed vaccines are currently available for preventing ZIKV infection. As a major target of neutralizing, ZIKV envelop (E) protein usually used for vaccine development. Nevertheless, the immunogenicity of ZIKV envelop (E) protein expressed by baculovirus display system has never been assessed. In this study, we reported a new strategy for surface display of ZIKV E protein by a recombinant baculovirus vector derived from Autographa californica multiple nuclear polyhedrosis virus (AcMNPV) and assessed its immunogenicity in mice. We produced recombinant fusion ZIKV E protein linked with signal peptide (SP) and transmembrane domain (TM) of AcMNPV GP64. The results showed that the recombinant protein was easy to produce by baculovirus display system. BALB/c mice immunized with this recombinant E protein developed ZIKV specific serum antibodies. The anti-E protein sera from the mice were able to effectively neutralize ZIKV in vitro. More importantly, AG6 (IFN-α/β and IFN-γ receptor deficient) mice immunized with recombinant E protein were protected against lethal ZIKV challenge. Together, these findings demonstrated that the recombinant E protein displayed by baculovirus can be conveniently prepared and displayed good immunogenicity in immunized mice. It is a promising practical approach for prompting the development of vaccine and related immunology research.

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PubMed